Coming off a loss to Guildford the previous weekend but, with a much improved form the Phoenix went into this weekend with a point to prove. A tough away game to Slough kicked off the weekend before a home tie against the Swindon Wildcats. The away game in Slough couldnt have gone any better, with the Phoenix third choice keeper in goal, the team worked hard and produced a superb 6-2 victory.
That set up the home game versus Swindon, a big crowd came to the Ice Dome, the Phoenix had a chance for their first four point weekend in ages.
First Period: Swindon have a very talented top line, beyond that away from their home ice they do not offer much to hurt EPL teams. That being said, that top line is something else! Nell and Hoog must have nearly 200 pts combined, an awesome pairing! The game began brightly, Jasz,.....not even going to attempt that one! Mr Smith, in goal for the Phoenix! The Phoenix looked to have snapped back into gear and were creating many chances only to find Murdy in top form. Chances came and went, the home faithful had to wait until the 15th minute to see the fist goal. 15min 20sec Mr Hand himself came in, approached the hashmarks, and unleashed a gorgeous shot to the top corner. One period, one goal and a lead for the Phoenix!
Second Period: The goals began to flow in the second period as the game began to open up. The Phoenix extended their lead on 25min 23sec when Psurny scored on the powerplay. This area of the Phoenix play has really improved over the past few weeks, mind you, that wasn't hard to do! Swindon got their mojo going and reduced the deficit two minutes later when Swindlehurst scored at 27min 52sec. Phoenix came right back when Neil scored after his shot was deflected past Murdy by a Swindon defenceman. The last goal of a frenetic second period came at 34min 52sec when Nell scored to make it 3-2 Phoenix.
Third Period: Scores at 3-2 with 20 to go. This would be an entertaining finish to the game! Swindon made things interesting at 44min 57sec when 10 scored on the powerplay, to make it even. The game carried on with some great play from both sides. The Phoenix took the lead once again at 52min 18sec when Flaten scored. As the game wore down the Wildcats looked more and more desperate for the late equiliser. They surprised many when Swindon, with 3 minutes let in the game, decided to pull Murdy for the extra skater. As the game passed the two minutes left mark the puck broke for the Phoenix and Flaten found Psurny skating through the Swindon zone to easily score the Phoenix 5th of the night.
Verdict: Another good effort for the Phoenix who have well and truly shrugged off their poor form of late and exploded with a great four point weekend. Swindon are dangerous but really lack the depth of scoring to make a push for the top of the EPL. Andrew Jaszz...Mr Smith performed admirably in goal and really didnt look like a fish out of water. His performances over the weekend, gave El-Hage a good weekend off and, reminded him, that his place as the Phoenix backup is no longer certain!
Attendance: A great crowd for a sunday night, i'll guess at 1,200.
Phoenix 6 Swindon 3 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 6 Swindon 3 - Swindon Article
Phoenix 6 Swindon 3 - Cheshire Today